I have just completed my first full week as a student teacher in a grade 3 classroom. I find myself emotionally exhausted and physically drained, yet overly content with life.
I find that with teaching, you have to be all in or not in at all. This is the emotional drain. You have to be “on” 10 minutes before you even arrive in the parking lot and remain “on” until you are out of sight of the school grounds. Although, this makes for an emotionally exhausting day, I couldn’t have it any other way. As exhausted as I found myself and wanting to curl up into a ball and sleep, there is nothing better than seeing a student experience an “AH – HA” moment, their simple smile, a hug goodbye, the picture they drew for you, or when that struggling student begins to engage in class discussion; this all makes it worth while.
This week, I posted to Twitter “I am exhausted. I still need to plan. I love my life. This is one way I know I’m in the right spot! #livetoteach #abed #ntchat”. All of these things, I previously mentioned make me feel less exhausted, even though I know I am. They make me spring out of bed at 6:30 every morning, so I can get ready for the hour long drive between Claresholm and Lethbridge, Alberta. Nothing else seems to matter, when you know that you have promoted learning within your class.
There is one moment, that really stands out for me this week. I had the students engage in a Hearing & Sound Tuning Fork Lab. The engagement seemed evident from the start but, as many teachers I am sure fear, I was worried that my students were going through the motions and not getting the intended learning from the experiment. After the experiment, we went through their worksheet as a class. The discussion blew me away. My students are not the fastest, best writers and as a result, writing sentences slows them down. For this lab, we used jot dots so students could quickly and easily convey their thoughts to me. This was perfect, through the simple words they used, I was able to see that they really did get it! By the end of class we were talking about how the energy of the vibrating tuning fork is being transferred to the surrounding air, or other objects it comes into contact with. When my students hit that “AH – HA” moment, with guidance, but far less than I anticipated I would need to provide, my body language got huge, the smile on my face was priceless (I’m sure) and the look on my TA’s face from the back of the classroom said it all; the students understood! This is one example supporting the need to incorporate kinaesthetic, tactile, auditory and visual learning styles, as well as several multiple intelligences into a lesson, to allow all students the opportunity to learn and express their learning
This became an “AH – HA” moment for me. I can’t describe the emotions I feel when I think back to this experience, all that comes close is to say – I feel energized, yet exhausted.
Until next time,